Last year the North Carolina General Assembly voted to end supplemental pay for teachers who earn master's degrees. Even teachers who were at the time enrolled in Master's programs would not get the ten percent supplement for their advanced degrees.
On Monday, Gov. Pat McCrory recommended a change to that policy. He said he will push for a new plan that will provide Master's pay for those who had enrolled in a class by July 1, 2013. Meanwhile, the governor said his administration is looking at changes that would reward professional development without focusing so much on advanced degrees.
“I see us totally revamping the concept of continuing education for teachers,” McCrory said. “Part of the problem that the senate and house had with master's pay is a large percentage of the master's pay was for administration. And yet most of the teacher's taking the master's administration were not going into administration. We want more of the continuing education to be for teaching – to help teachers become better teachers, not to become administrators.”
Mark Jewell, a vice president for the North Carolina Association of Educators, said restoring the Master's pay for those who are already enrolled in a program is a step in the right direction. But it doesn't go far enough, he says.
“Every teacher form this point on should always continue to get paid for their Master's Degree,” Jewell said. “Research has shown from educational experts that advanced degrees such as Master's and Doctoral does increase student performance and teacher effectiveness.”
According to Jewell, without the Master's pay North Carolina will eventually lose teachers to nearby states willing to pay for advanced degrees.
McCrory said one his goals is to promote teachers without moving them out of the classroom and into administrative offices.